Kiss the Tiger Lands on Their Feet: This Time at First Ave’s Main Room Tonight [INTERVIEW]

Interview with Ferocious Front Woman Meghan Kreidler from Kiss the Tiger. Rawr.


Last updated on November 20th, 2018 at 06:36 pm

Interview with Meghan from Kiss the Tiger:

MIM“Hi Meghan!”

Meghan: “Hi! How are you?”

MIM“I’m good! How are you doing?”

Meghan: “Pretty good! I am outside right now, so I am loving life. It is gorgeous.”

MIM“Yeah, it is beautiful out today. You’ve probably been inside all day! You’ve been at the Children’s Theatre working this morning?”

Meghan: “Yeah been here since 9:45 or so, yeah it’s not that long. It’s like a two hour show. But yeah!”

MIM“You do a lot of different things, what are you working on right now in terms of theatre? Different shows?”

Meghan:The Lorax at the Children’s Theatre, which is a musical adaptation of the Sr. Seuss book. Yeah! It’s fun. It’s a monster of a show and we do ten shows a week, so it’s more than normal. Even equity theatres, Broadway theatres, eight shows is usually the max. But, the Children’s Theatre has a crazy contract with the union and they can do up to ten shows a week. Haha, so we max it out at ten every week.”

Rehearsing a scene from ‘Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax’ at The Children’s Theatre. Photo by Kaitlin Randolph

MIM“That’s crazy! You did an apprenticeship with them though, so you kind of got used to that crazy ten-show-a-week pace.”

Meghan: “Totally, yeah that definitely trained me for coming back and working here, haha.”

MIM“Still, that’s a lot to come back to! Well, I hope it’s going well so far.”

Meghan: “Yeah! It is. It’s really fun. And, it’s a good work out too. That’s always good.”

MIM“For sure. So, last time I saw you that was in April at 331 Club. So, since then, it looks like you guys kind of took a break from shows and you got California coming up this June. Which is super exciting!”

Photo by Kathleen Ambre

Meghan: “Yeah! Super exciting. So, I’m doing this show and then, when it closes in Minneapolis, it’s actually going to be going out to San Diego. So, I have like a two-week break in between when I’m here and when I’m there. So, we figured it would be a good time to… a good excuse to go play in California haha”

MIM“Yeah! For sure!”

Meghan: “Yeah, so that took some planning. But, we got it all mapped out. It’s only four shows, but we’re going from San Francisco all the way to San Diego. I’m excited.”

MIM“Yeah that’s a lot in a short period of time. But, I guess you kind of did that back in March. You had a stint of shows in only like five days. But, California is a little more exciting than Wisconsin.”

Meghan: “Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean it’ll be a lot of driving. All of it will be scenic, so.”

MIM“I mean, no disrespect to Madison or Milwaukee. I just came back from Madison actually this past weekend for my brother’s graduation, haha.”

Meghan: “Oh! Well, congrats to your brother!”

MIM“Thanks! Well, thanks for taking some time to chat with me. I know you are a very busy person! I wanted to ask you about a lot of different things.”

Meghan: “Sure!”

MIM“I noticed this was a little over a week ago, you guys released a new single, Loosen the Chains.”

Meghan: “Correct!”

MIM“So, that’s a single that’s coming up on your second full-length album. So this is kind of like a little teaser. When can we expect that next album to come out?”

Meghan: “Yeah! The hope is to release it in the fall, hopefully by September. I think that’s the month that we’re aiming for. We actually have six songs, including the single, already recorded. So, we’re just looking to record the other three. And, those would be all new. They’re either songs that are in progress right now or old songs that we want to re-work that we’ve never recorded. So, we just have to figure out what that it haha. Kind of fill out what we have. To record, I think September would be reasonable, that’s the hope.”


Meghan: “And then maybe release another single off of it, maybe like later in the summer. You know, to just keep the anticipation building, haha”

MIM“Haha, well I love the photo of the kid in the bathtub?”

Photo courtesy of Kiss the Tiger

Meghan: “Haha, oh yeah! Some of my band members were like ‘what’s up with that?’ It’s actually Michael, the rhythm guitar player, as a little kid. It’s a photo of a photo that I took of him. And I just thought the expression on his face was really funny, so haha”

MIM“Ha, yeah I thought it was funny. I was curious. I was like, ‘Is that one of the band members?'”

Meghan: “Yeah, they were like, ‘Um, it’s a child in the bath tub, that’s not cool.’ But, I was like, ‘Yeah, but it’s one of us. So, it’s not that weird to use it, haha.'”

MIM“And that’s your boyfriend, right? The guitarist?”

Meghan: “Yup! Michael.”

MIM“So, I mean, I’m sure you convinced him it was cool, haha”

Meghan: “Haha, I know. Well, I feel like every child has a bath tub photo. So, you know. Standard.”

MIM“Yup. I like your style, like with the self-titled album. You got the wedding photo and kind of the collage of different stuff. It’s kind of fun”

Photo courtesy of Kiss the Tiger

Meghan: “Yeah! Michael actually made that. It’s a bunch of photos of his family. But, yeah, that’s another thing. The band’s like, ‘Okay, so we’ve already had photos of Michael’s family on our one album cover. So, haha we need more people from his family. But, you know it’s just for the single’s image.”

MIM“Haha, well I’m excited to see what the second album cover will be.”

Meghan: “Yeah! Haha, yeah we need to find… I guess that’s the next goal for us. We’ve done a lot of CD’s and spray painted them, you know it’s a lot of DIY, punk-rock kind of feel. But, you know we might actually get someone to design something. Or, do a good photoshoot with maybe me. I don’t know. We’re gonna try to step up our game a little bit, and look a little more ‘professional’ haha. And, maybe get an actual record, that’s also the hope.”

Photo courtesy of Kiss the Tiger

MIM“Yeah! Or, some merch too!”

Meghan: “Yeah! Well, we have t-shirts. So, I guess at 331 we didn’t have anything set out. It was so packed and we were like, ‘where do we put stuff?’ But, we have t-shirts, and stickers, and CD’s and stuff. So, Friday we’ll have a place to set that stuff up.”

MIM“Awesome! I’ll look for it.”

Meghan: “Yeahhhh, all the business stuff.”

MIM“Yeah, well it’s kind of hard to do that side of things when you’re going between shows and going to the rehearsal room, you know going from the theatre to the rock world. It’s kind of hard to bridge that divide, I imagine.”

Meghan: “Yeah, it’s a lot of work. And, it’s a lot more… you know I do it in my acting career, so I’m used to it. I’m used to freelancing, and networking, and booking shows and stuff. Like, you’re really just kind of emailing people and hoping they get back to you. You have to email a lot of different venues, haha. For example, booking this California tour. It took a long time. Just because some people don’t get back to you at all. And, you just kind of like have to check in with them. It’s a full time job, it’s a lot of work. For sure.”

Photo by Kathleen Ambre

MIM“Yeah! Also, it’s gotta be a lot of fun!”

Meghan: “Oh yeah, all the work that goes into it is totally worth it. And, it’s ultimately… you know, we just wanna play. So, the pay off is the reward that we get for putting that kind of work in.”

MIM“And, another way that you’ve kind of blended the theatre world and the rock world… I love that in “Starting to See You,” you featured a full cast of local women, theatre artists. Are those just women that you’ve crossed paths with that you just called in and you were like, ‘Hey! So, we’re shooting a video! Wanna be in it?'”

Meghan: “Yeah! So, I had a lot of women in mind that I thought would be great. But yeah, just all women that I’ve worked with in different capacities who I thought would… We didn’t really wanna have a ‘band-playing’ music video, even though we get featured a little bit at the end.

I was like, ‘Well, I know a lot of actors and they’re all comfortable in front of the camera. So, we might as well get some people to come in and make an event of it.’ It was really fun though, honestly. I produced that video, and it took a while to get all the different people on board.

I’m pretty proud of how that turned out and how smoothly it went. The pre-planning of it, we did a good job. It went really smoothly on the day of shooting. It was really fun, and cool.”

MIM“Yeah, I thought it was really cool. And, not your typical video either.”

Meghan: “Yeah.”

MIM“Anything where you kind of have vignettes stories of just people that are intersecting in life. I love that story style. I thought that was really unique. I’m glad that you guys got featured for that one.”

Meghan: “Yeah! Thank you.”

MIM“Do you think that, down the road, you might maybe create another official music video?”

Meghan: “Yeah! So, one of the songs we actually recorded is called ‘Violent Love.’ Michael already has a concept for that. Because, I have a martial arts background. So, we wanna do a whole fight, martial-artsy video.”

“Peter Pan” as Tiger Lily. Children’s Theatre Co. Directed by Peter Rothstein. Photo © Dan Norman

MIM“Oh, that would be kinda cool.”

Meghan: “Yeah, so I have a couple work-related acquaintances that do like fight choreography. So, there are some cool connections that we could bring in and make something exciting I think. So, yeah we have hopes of doing that. But, it’s not really the biggest priority.

But, it would be fun. For how much planning and money it costs, to make it. It is cool to just have a memento of a thing. Even if it’s just for yourself, it’s fun to do too. As just a different creative project.”

MIM“Yeah, well you bounce around a lot of different mediums creatively. And, this is just a different piece of that, a visual piece. That’s always nice, a kind of polishing thing to add. So yeah, just setting tour dates and making it to rehearsal is probably more of a priority, haha. But, maybe down the road. I’ll have to look for that. I love the idea of that concept though.”

Meghan: “Yeah, it would be fun. So, I think we’ll make it happen. It’s just a matter of when.”

MIM“Sure. Another thing I was going to ask you… So, when I was thinking back to how I even realized who you were and friends of mine and cousins of mine who knew your name. You know, from speech days way back when, haha. My cousins who went to Eagan high school. And, a couple friends of mine who just recognized Kiss the Tiger. And, running into you at Mixed Blood Theatre.”

“Two Mille Hollow” a Theatre Mu / Mixed Blood Theatre Co-Production. Photo by Kathleen Ambre.

Meghan: “Oh, right!”

MIM“Yeah, haha. So, I’ve been kind of blown away by the scope of all the different things that you do and 2017… that was kind of a break out year for you as an artist.”

Meghan: “Yeah, I mean that wasn’t that long ago. When I think about it, it was pretty… yeah, haha. I had been working for a while professionally, as an actor. And then, just kind of getting started in the music stuff.

And, it just kind of all culminated into a pretty awesome year of recognition. And, you know, there are tons of artists that work just as hard, or maybe even harder, and they never get that recognition. So, I was just really lucky. It was cool. But, then, you just kind of move on and you’re like, ‘Okay, I still gotta do the work.’

Haha, it’s not always going to be as glamorous as that, but of course it’s nice. It’s nice to get some accolades every once in a while. Yeah, and you know, I’ve been doing the grind for a while.”

2017 Ivey Awards at the State Theatre. Photo courtesy of Meghan Kreidler

MIM“Yeah, it takes a lot of grit and grind. That’s for sure. But, I did want to ask you.. So, when I think back on 2017, for a lot of people that was a pretty difficult year. Just, pretty tumultuous year. A lot of really devastating headlines in the news, political spars. A lot of jarring emotions, I’m talking from my point of view.”

Meghan: “Yeah, totally, I’m there with you.”

MIM“I wanted to ask you, with that year. It happened to be a year for you… I’m so glad you got that recognition for all the work you put in. Has that made you think twice about why you do what you do as an artist and why it matters?”

Meghan: “Yeah, absolutely. I never really put that much… When I started off as a young, professional performer, I never really thought that much about what it meant to have my specific body on stage, inhabiting a story or playing in a rock n’ roll band.

But, now as a woman, as a woman of color, it takes on a whole new meaning. I guess I bear that responsibility with a lot of pride, a greater awareness now of what that means and how I can use my body and my voice as a weapon and as a tool to uplift and persuade and embolden people to be fearless.

I mean, I think the intersection of just the political year that it was. And, the social stuff going on as well with the ‘Me Too’ movement. Man, was that this year? I mean the Harvey Weinstein stuff just came out.”

MIM“It sort of blended into 2017, for me. With the beginning of 2018 too.”

End of year interview with The Current’s Local Show host Andrea Swensson

Meghan: “Right, yeah for me I feel like I’m just coming into my own in general. Just with my age, my confidence, and just who I am as a person. But, I think that having that awareness in this moment in time is interesting. I’m just aware of the kind of power that I do have, that we all have.

And I think, as performers especially, the consequences of certain things that you do on stage, certain things that you see, are a lot greater. People are becoming more attuned to those things as well. So, I don’t take it for granted. I mean I never have, but I think I find it to be more important that anybody who maybe is not a white man, gets to take up space in any capacity.”

MIM“Yeah, thanks for sharing. How is being a front woman for this bold, unapologetic rock band, how does that empower you versus being on that stage as an actress?”

“Flower Drum Song” as Linda Low. Mu Performing Arts/ Park Square Theatre. Directed by Randy Reyes Photo © Rich Ryan

Meghan: “Yeah, for me, I think a lot of my acting is political. The stuff I do with Mu or Mixed Blood is often times–actually all the time with Mu–is centered around issues of race and identity. I do feel like they are so different, the rock persona and any other character persona I might be playing on stage.

When I first started playing in this band, it did not come as easily as I thought it would with my performance background. I just felt really uncomfortable, I guess. So, playing in this band has really forced me to come to terms with my discomfort and really expressing my true self, I guess.

Because, when you’re doing a show, the words of the character, and the plot, and the costumes, all that stuff I hide behind. I mean, I don’t feel that I’m hiding, but there’s a different sense of vulnerability that comes with playing music, live music.

It’s just really forced me to confront fear in a different way. I don’t always feel… I feel like now I’m comfortable enough that I can appear that I have a lot of confidence. But, I don’t always feel that way. That happens on stage as well as playing music.

You go through those cycles of doubt and uncertainty in the moment, and you just have to find a way to break that wall down. What it really comes down to, for me, is a connection with the audience. That’s really your lifeline to humanity.”


Meghan: “I think, as a performer, you can kind of get stuck in, ‘Okay, how is everybody perceiving me?’ But, I think when you realize that there are people there hopefully wanting to have some kind of experience and connection with you, as a performer, that always brings me back down to reality I guess. And, it helps me get past feelings of uncertainty.”

MIM“Yeah, of course.”

Photo by Kathleen Ambre

Meghan: “I’ve learned that way more, playing in a band, than I ever have doing theatre. Because, a lot of theatre, you have the fourth wall. In a lot of ways, we are trying to mirror reality, we’re trying to do the whole human connection thing. But, there are so many things that still make it feel so removed from the audience. And, I don’t think live music is like that at all.”

MIM“Yeah, it’s such a different dynamic with the audience.”

Meghan: “Yeah, and I’m still learning how to navigate that too. Because, it… Haha, you can’t plan for everything. I mean, you can be as prepared as you can be and then you just kind of have to go with the flow”

MIM“Yeah, that’s true.”

Meghan: “Yeah, so they are very different. But, I feel like my work in both theatre and music are really informing the other and making me better in both. So, that’s good.”

Photo by Kathleen Ambre

MIM“Yeah! That’s great. Haha, it’s a learning process. But, when learning one art of performance can make yourself even better at the other, that’s exactly the sweet spot where you wanna be.”

Meghan: “Yeah, totally.”

MIM“So, what are you looking forward to with this milestone of First Ave, in the main room on Friday?”

Meghan: “Haha, oh man! I’m looking forward to having the space. I mean, I love playing at dive bars. That totally fits the aesthetic of Kiss the Tiger.”

MIM“For sure.”

Meghan: “You know, having the lights, and the nice sound system. That’s all really nice. It means a lot. Just talking to Michael too. He’s like, ‘Ah gosh, it’s gonna be kind of emotional.’ Because he’s been…

I mean, I just started doing this music thing a few years ago when he and I met and everybody that plays in my band, they’ve been playing music forever. I know for them, it all means something. It’s a very important thing for them, it might be more of a big deal for them because they’ve been going at it for a long time.

So, I feel really grateful that I get to play with my band. They’re awesome musicians, and I have total confidence in our ability to go out there and deliver and try not to take it too seriously, I mean I just wanna have fun haha.”

Meghan and fellow bandmate and boyfriend Michael Anderson. Photo courtesy of Meghan Kreidler.

MIM“Haha, well, you guys always put on a fun show.”

Meghan: “There will be some nerves, but I suppose I’m used to that. I have nerves all the time for different reasons before performing. And, they usually go away in the first couple minutes. But, yeah, I’m looking forward to it. And, we’re playing with two awesome bands.

It’s awesome that we’re opening for The Suburb. Hugo, who’s the drummer for The Suburbs, he actually, when we started playing under a different name two and a half year ago, he was our first drummer.”

MIM“Oh, really? That’s a cool connection.”

Photo courtesy of Nickie Reynero from The Suburbs’ 40th Anniversary show at First Avenue last year.

Meghan: “Haha, yeah! I think it was just him helping us get started. He had played in some bands with Michael in the past. They’ve known each other for a while. I think he knows his dad, or something.

But yeah, every since we started off, he was like, ‘Yeah, I want you guys to open for The Suburbs.’ It’s just like, we’ve come such a long way since we’ve grown as a band. And, since we had that connection from the beginning with Hugo, it just feels really cool that we get to open for them now.”

MIM“Yeah, and continuing to foster those relationships too.”

Meghan: “Yeah.”

MIM“It makes you think of all the cool people you have yet to even meet, you know, that will open up so many doors.”

Meghan: “Totally! Yeah.”

MIM“Or, you for them.”

Meghan: “Well, I think it’s interesting too because Chan Poling, he does so many different things, but he’s also a person who now has kind of crossed over into the theatre world. And, he has a musical happening over at the History Theatre. So, it’s kind of like… He was also in the rock and roll world before, and obviously has been around for a while. But, yeah. Just cool to have all the different worlds merging together. Yeah, it’ll be fun.”

MIM“Looking forward to it! It’ll be a fun show!”

[wait for it…] In which Annie Enneking (Annie and the Bang Bang) and Meghan Kreidler (Kiss the Tiger) maturely discuss really important and mutually exclusive upcoming concerts (details in the comment section). (With Kari Tweiten Macdonald, Mike Kittel, John Riedlinger)

Posted by Annie Enneking on Sunday, May 6, 2018


Written by Kathleen Ambre

Photographer | Designer | Writer | Chronic Creator


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